Police followed a trail of cardboard boxes, pillows and backpacks.
The suspected burglars weren't hard to find, either.
They were asleep.
One was curled up on a stolen hammock. The other was dozing on a pile of pillows taken from a storage container outside the Monroe Fred Meyer store.
The snoozing duo didn't hear the police officer take out a camera. They didn't stir when he took photographs of them stealing a few Z's.
He had to wake them from their nap to arrest them.
"We believe alcohol was involved," Monroe police spokeswoman Debbie Willis said. "I'd say a lot of alcohol was involved."
Kyle Burress, 25, and Allen Pierce, 27, are charged with second-degree burglary. They've been sleeping in the Snohomish County Jail since their July 9 arrest.
Prosecutors allege Burress and Pierce were responsible for the patio furniture heist at the Monroe department store along U.S. 2. A surveillance camera caught them scurrying from container to container during the wee hours of the morning, prosecutors said.
The theft was discovered by the store manager.
He was opening the store about 6 a.m. when he noticed that someone had cut the padlocks from four large storage containers behind the store. The padlocks of two other containers were scratched up but still locked.
Someone had pawed through the merchandise. They had left behind shoe prints and a mess. Boxes and patio furniture were scattered around, Willis said.
Someone also left behind a trail.
Pillows, empty cardboard boxes, backpacks, Presto logs and outdoor fire pits led to a grassy area out of sight about 200 feet away.
"The officer just keeps following the trail, and there they are, asleep on top of pillows and pads," Willis said. "They are sound asleep."
Police say the trail led straight to Pierce and Burress and they have the pictures to prove it.
"Most people try to cover up what they did," Willis said. "Not these guys. It's almost like Hansel and Gretel, leaving crumbs for us to follow."
The camera caught Pierce, a Monroe resident, with his shoes kicked off. He was curled up on a hammock pad. The assembly instructions for the collapsed hammock lay next to him.
Burress, of Everett, was photographed with his mouth open, sawing logs on pink patio-furniture pillows. A canvas barbecue cover was pulled up to his chin.
July mornings can still be chilly.
The officer called for backup.
Pierce and Burress slept another 20 minutes while the officer took more pictures and waited for a sergeant to join him.
The suspects' wake-up call was a cop reading them their rights.
Pierce and Burress denied plotting to break into the storage containers, court records show. They didn't say much else, Willis said.
They were carted off to jail in handcuffs. And with bed-head.
Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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